Monday, May 29, 2017

The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband - Rokesbys #2 - By: Julia Quinn


About the Book

While you were sleeping...

With her brother Thomas injured on the battlefront in the Colonies, orphaned Cecilia Harcourt has two unbearable choices: move in with a maiden aunt or marry a scheming cousin. Instead, she chooses option three and travels across the Atlantic, determined to nurse her brother back to health. But after a week of searching, she finds not her brother but his best friend, the handsome officer Edward Rokesby. He's unconscious and in desperate need of her care, and Cecilia vows that she will save this soldier's life, even if staying by his side means telling one little lie...

I told everyone I was your wife
When Edward comes to, he's more than a little confused. The blow to his head knocked out six months of his memory, but surely he would recall getting married. He knows who Cecilia Harcourt is—even if he does not recall her face—and with everyone calling her his wife, he decides it must be true, even though he'd always assumed he'd marry his neighbor back in England.

If only it were true...
Cecilia risks her entire future by giving herself—completely—to the man she loves. But when the truth comes out, Edward may have a few surprises of his own for the new Mrs. Rokesby.
Win a print copy of BECAUSE OF MISS BRIDGERTON (US Only)

Manhattan Island
July 1779

            His head hurt.
            Correction, his head really hurt.
            It was hard to tell, though, just what sort of pain it was. He might have been shot through the head with a musket ball. That seemed plausible, given his current location in New York (or was it Connecticut?) and his current occupation as a captain in His Majesty’s army.
            There was a war going on, in case one hadn’t noticed.
            But this particular pounding—the one that felt more like someone was bashing his skull with a cannon (not a cannonball, mind you, but an actual cannon) seemed to indicate that he had been attacked with a blunter instrument than a bullet.
            An anvil, perhaps. Dropped from a second-story window.
            But if one cared to look on the bright side, a pain such as this did seem to indicate that he wasn’t dead, which was also a plausible fate, given all the same facts that had led him to believe he might have been shot.
            That war he’d mentioned... people did die.
            With alarming regularity.
            So he wasn’t dead. That was good. But he also wasn’t sure where he was, precisely. The obvious next step would be to open his eyes, but his eyelids were translucent enough for him to realize that it was the middle of the day, and while he did like to look on the metaphorical bright side, he was fairly certain that the literal one would prove blinding.
            So he kept his eyes closed.
            But he listened.
            He wasn’t alone. He couldn’t make out any actual conversation, but a low buzz of words and activity filtered through the air. People were moving about, setting objects on tables, maybe pulling a chair across the floor.
            Someone was moaning in pain.
            Most of the voices were male, but there was at least one lady nearby. She was close enough that he could hear her breathing. She made little noises as she went about her business, which he soon realized included tucking blankets around him and touching his forehead with the back of her hand.
            He liked these little noises, the tiny little mmms and sighs she probably had no idea she was making. And she smelled nice, a bit like lemons, a bit like soap.
            And a bit like hard work.
            He knew that smell. He’d worn it himself, albeit usually only briefly until it turned into a full-fledged stink.
            On her, though, it was more than pleasant. Perhaps a little earthy. And he wondered who she was, to be tending to him so diligently.
            “How is he today?”
            Edward held himself still. This male voice was new, and he wasn’t sure he wanted anyone to know he was awake yet.
            Although he wasn’t sure why he felt this hesitancy.
            “The same,” came the woman’s reply.
            “I am concerned. If he doesn’t wake up soon...”
            “I know,” the woman said. There was a touch of irritation in her voice, which Edward found curious.
            “Have you been able to get him to take broth?”
            “Just a few spoonfuls. I was afraid he would choke if I attempted any more than that.”
            The man made a vague noise of approval. “Remind me how long he has been like this?”
            “A week, sir. Four days before I arrived, and three since.”
            A week. Edward thought about this. A week meant it must be... March? April?
            No, maybe it was only February. And this was probably New York, not Connecticut.
            But that still didn’t explain why his head hurt so bloody much. Clearly he’d been in some sort of an accident. Or had he been attacked?
            “There has been no change at all?” the man asked, even though the lady had just said as much.
            But she must have had far more patience than Edward, because she replied in a quiet, clear voice, “No, sir. None.”
            The man made a noise that wasn’t quite a grunt. Edward found it impossible to interpret.
            “Er...” The woman cleared her throat. “Have you any news of my brother?”
            Her brother? Who was her brother?
            “I am afraid not, Mrs. Rokesby.”
            Mrs. Rokesby?
            “It has been nearly two months,” she said quietly.
            Mrs. Rokesby? Edward really wanted them to get back to that point. There was only one Rokesby in North America as far as he knew, and that was him. So if she was Mrs. Rokesby...
            “I think,” the male voice said, “that your energies would be better spent tending to your husband.”
            “I assure you,” she said, and there was that touch of irritation again, “that I have been caring for him most faithfully.”
            Husband? They were calling him her husband? Was he married? He couldn’t be married. How could he be married and not remember it?
            Who was this woman?
            Edward’s heart began to pound. What the devil was happening to him?
            “Did he just make a noise?” the man asked.
            “I... I don’t think so.”
            She moved then, quickly. Hands touched him, his cheek, then his chest, and even through her obvious concern, there was something soothing in her motions, something undeniably right.
            “Edward?” she asked, taking his hand. She stroked it several times, her fingers brushing lightly over his skin. “Can you hear me?”
            He ought to respond. She was worried. What kind of gentleman did not act to relieve a lady’s distress?
            “I fear he may be lost to us,” the man said, with far less gentleness than Edward thought appropriate.
            “He still breathes,” the woman said in a steely voice.
            The man said nothing, but his expression must have been one of pity, because she said it again, more loudly this time.
            “He still breathes.”
            “Mrs. Rokesby...”
            Edward felt her hand tighten around his. Then she placed her other on top, her fingers resting lightly on his knuckles. It was the smallest sort of embrace, but Edward felt it down to his soul.
            “He still breathes, Colonel,” she said with quiet resolve. “And while he does, I will be here. I may not be able to help Thomas, but—”
            Thomas. Thomas Harcourt. That was the connection. This must be his sister. Cecilia. He knew her well.
            Or not. He’d never actually met the lady, he felt like he knew her. She wrote to her brother with a diligence that was unmatched in the regiment. Thomas received twice as much mail as Edward, and Edward had four siblings to Thomas’s one.
            Cecilia Harcourt. What on earth was she doing in North America? She was supposed to be in Derbyshire, in that little town Thomas had been so eager to leave. The one with the hot springs. Matlock. No, Matlock Bath.
            Edward had never been, but he thought it sounded charming. Not the way Thomas described it, of course; he liked the bustle of city life and couldn’t wait to take a commission and depart his village. But Cecilia was different. In her letters, the small Derbyshire town came alive, and Edward almost felt that he would recognize her neighbors if he ever went to visit.
            She was witty. Lord, she was witty. Thomas used to laugh so much at her missives that Edward finally made him read them out loud.
            Then one day, when Thomas was penning his response, Edward interrupted so many times that Thomas finally shoved out his chair and held forth his quill.
            “You write to her,” he’d said.
            So he did.
            Not on his own, of course. Edward could never have written to her directly. It would have been the worst sort of impropriety, and he would not have insulted her in such a manner. But he took to scribbling a few lines at the end of Thomas’s letters, and whenever she replied, she had a few lines for him.
            Thomas carried a miniature of her, and even though he said it was several years old, Edward had found himself staring at it, studying the small portrait of the young woman, wondering if her hair really was that remarkable golden color, or if she really did smile that way, lips closed and mysterious.
            Somehow he thought not. She did not strike him as a woman with secrets. Her smile would be sunny and free. Edward had even thought he’d like to meet her once this godforsaken war was over. He’d never said anything to Thomas, though.
            That would have been strange.
            Now Cecilia was here. In the colonies. Which made absolutely no sense, but then again, what did? Edward’s head was injured, and Thomas seemed to be missing, and...
            Edward thought hard.
            ...and he seemed to have married Cecilia Harcourt.
            He opened his eyes and tried to focus on the green-eyed woman peering down at him.


Addicted 2 Romance Review:

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

I am a HUGE Julia Quinn fan. I even read the first book in the series and I really LOVED the story about Billie and Edwards brother, George. Billie is the girl in this story mentioned as the neighbor in the description of this book. Billie is Edwards best friend growing up, however they never got engaged or even were in love and in the first book in this series Billie and George fall in love. At the end of book 1, we find out Edward is alive and he is home. This book starts at the point where he is in New York, yes the United States and is just waking up from a coma. So we back track a little in this story, to see what happened to Edward while he was away.

This book 99.9% takes place in the United States aka The Colonies and in New York. I found it extremely different than any other Julia Quinn book in that it is NOT in England. I also was very impressed with the historical info that is used and shared in the story about British soldiers fighting in the colonies.

The story also had some drama in it, as Edward and Cecilia try and find out what happened to Edwards close friend, Thomas, who is also Cecilia's brother. And that is how Cecilia ends up pretending to be married to Edward. While he is injured the only way for her to help him is for her to pretend to be his family - wife. She travels from England to New York, trying to find her brother and instead finds Edward who needs her to nurse him in his coma and then even afterwards.

The problem is that Cecilia never tells Edward the truth. She never tells him they are not married. Even when they leave the hospital. And that was something I did not like or respect. I am used to alot of humor with Julia Quinns stories, and this one was not very fun. The war is going on around them. So its also hard to have humor in that kind of story, so I understand the why not, but still it was something I really missed.

While this story was very well written and actually included much more history and facts than I am used to in Julia Quinn's other books, I missed the balls and the flirting that England stories have. I would have rather seen less The Colonies and more seeing Edward and Cecelia in the British world and seeing them more with George and Billie.

This book easily stands alone and if you enjoy American Historical romances than I think you will really love this story. It is a different type of historical romance for Julia Quinn and she did an amazing job in the writing and history of it and tying it into the first book in the series.

About the Author

Julia Quinn is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty-five novels for Avon Books, and one of only sixteen authors ever to be inducted in the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family.


Called Out - Calling It #3 - By: Jen Doyle


About the Book

Jack "Ox" Oxford is used to being alone. Granted, when you screw over your friends, being alone isn't always a choice. Playing for the Chicago Watchmen is a last-ditch effort to save his career…and right some of his past wrongs. He's not expecting a warm reception, but he's also not expecting a flat tire to change everything.

Recovering control freak, single mom and semiprofessional chaos wrangler Lola Deacon McIntire doesn't need an arrogant ballplayer to swoop in and save her from anything, much less her flat tire. And she definitely doesn't need her body to betray her and decide this is the guy to wake up her rusty libido. She isn't about to upset her sons' lives for any man—much less one who so clearly doesn't think he's dad material.

Jack never thought he'd find someone who wanted to build a life with him, but the more time he spends with Lola and her boys, the more it starts to feel permanent. Even tough-as-nails Lola concedes there just might be a future here—the big, beautiful, messy future neither of them was looking for—but only if Jack will accept he deserves it.

The only person who didn’t seem to notice was Jack. She didn’t particularly expect any special treatment, and it was clear he wasn’t interested in a long, happy life together any more than she was. But when he pushed his plate aside and started to say his goodbyes, she did have to turn her back to make sure her face didn’t betray her disappointment.
When he did finally come up behind her to say goodbye, it was without leaning in and whispering in her ear, and he kept his hands far away from her. It was clear that whatever had happened between him and Deke—and Lola could read a room enough to know that something had happened—meant things were about to come to an end.
Lola was okay with that. She hadn’t really expected anything after the other morning anyway. Still, it was an effort to plaster a smile on her face, especially when he nodded his head toward the hallway. “Can I talk to you for a minute?”
Lola sighed. “Cover me?” she said to Mary. And then she turned to move past him and walked straight ahead.
“So,” she said when they got to the back hallway. She didn’t think it counted as breaking up when they weren’t together, but she’d never actually been broken up with before so she wasn’t sure. And although she wasn’t willing to make it easier for him, she wasn’t about to make it hard.
“So,” he said. He was nervous. This was going to be worse than Lola had thought.
Well, it wasn’t going to be worse than having Tuck show up in his police uniform the night of the accident, or spending all those long lonely nights when Dave was deployed wondering whether he was still alive.
“Obviously,” Jack said, “we have two very different lives.”
Yep. Lola nodded for him to go on.
“And we both know I am not by any means a catch.”
It kind of depended on how you defined it, but this wasn’t the time to agree or disagree. She clasped her hands behind her back.
“This is probably a really, really bad idea.” He ran his hands through his hair and Lola tried not to think about how cute he was. How cute it was, to have the big, bad Iceman be so nervous because of her. Even if it was because he was about to tell her that he never wanted to see her again.
“But how would you feel about seeing me tonight after you get off?”
“I’m sorry?” That was not what she’d expected him to say. 
He closed his eyes and shook his head. “Not get off. That innuendo was not intentional. I meant after you’re done with your shift.”
Wow. He wasn’t even making double entendre jokes. This was seriously strange. And not how she’d expected this to go.
He started pacing.
 “I, uh…” He cleared his throat. “Jules mentioned the babysitter puts your kids to bed and stays over on the nights you work late.”
“She did?” Jules was so much more of a troublemaker than she led anyone to believe.
Jack nodded. “I was thinking maybe I could pick you up and take you to dinner somewhere.”
And now Lola was irritated. Never mind that ten o’clock was too late to have dinner. “Seriously? We’re doing the dating thing?” She may have had her breakdown earlier, but it didn’t change her overall goal. “What part of ‘fuck me against the wall’ did you not understand?” Lola was fairly certain she’d been clear on that.
Jack tensed before straightening up to his full height. Then the Jack she knew was back and in front of her—crowding right up against her, pinning her between him and the wall. This time his grin was natural and easy and entirely carnal—just the way she liked it. “I never said fucking against the wall was off the table. I just thought maybe you’d like to grab a bite first.”
Resisting the impulse to say that she would, actually, like to take a bite out of something first, she set her lips in a grim line. Was this truly what he wanted? Or was it just what he thought she wanted, despite what she’d said? Trying to keep the frustration out of her voice, she said, “I don’t want to go on dates, Jack. I don’t want a boyfriend. I don’t want another thing to add to the list.” She wasn’t pulling punches. Not today.
Although he winced and said, “Ouch, babe. That was harsh,” he didn’t seem overly upset. Especially not as he slid his thigh between her legs, looking entirely as if he were going to eat her up. “I don’t want to go on dates, Lola.” He brought his hand up between them. “And I really don’t want a girlfriend.” Though he seemed utterly calm, she could feel his heart beating as rapidly as hers was. “But I do have a list, and it includes fucking you repeatedly, and not just against the wall.” Then his hand closed over her breast, and he pinched the increasingly sensitive tip, and to her annoyance, she couldn’t hold back her gasp. Right here in the hallway of her family’s restaurant.
“I do, however,” he said, “have higher standards than an unheated, unfinished farmhouse.” Her breath hitched as he rolled her nipple between his thumb and forefinger, twisting just enough for a moan to make its way out of her throat.
“Hey,” she managed to say. “That’s my unheated, unfinished farmhouse you’re talking about. Be careful what you say.”
He smiled but didn’t reply. Unless you counted taking her earlobe between his teeth and giving enough of a tug for her to feel it shoot down to her core.
“Okay.” She needed to work at not being quite so easy. “I suppose that could be added to my list, too.”
“Great.” His voice low and raspy, he didn’t pull back. “So what do you say?”
She let her head fall back against the wall as she closed her eyes. Dorie was right. The date itself didn’t matter. She had no illusions about Jack and she wasn’t looking for a replacement for Dave. But she was a thirty-six-year-old woman who had a whole lot of living left to do. She took a deep breath as she opened her eyes, “Okay.”
In a startlingly gentle way, he brushed her cheek with his thumb as he smiled. “I’ll be back at ten to pick you up.”
Keeping the wall at her back, she nodded. “It’s not a date.”

“Not a date,” he repeated, bending down and touching his lips to hers, giving the slightest of reminders as to what his mouth was truly capable of. Then he backed away, keeping his eyes on her until he disappeared from sight.

Addicted 2 Romance Review

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

I am a big fan of the authors and have read all the books in the series. This is story #3 and is very much  a continuation from the first book,Calling It starring Nate and Dorie. In that book Nate comes back home after his fiancee sleeps with his best friend/teammate and gets pregnant. He meets Dorie and falls in love and they live happily ever after until where this book starts.

Jack is the guy slept with his besties fiancee and then got her pregnant. He has had a really bad year since and was a baseball teammate of Nate's but now he is teamless and friendless and has found a team, Nate's team but he can't get signed unless he makes peace with Nate.

So thats how he ends up asking Nate for forgiveness. On his way into town he runs into Lola, who is the sister of Deke(book 2 in the series) and Nate's close friend. So they start out more from a place of hate then attraction. Lola a widowed mom to triplets and and 8 year old, Silas. Silas loves Jack and so he loves meeting him.

Nate agrees to forgive jack is he stays and helps to fix up this house he owns, what Jack doesn't know is that it is Lola's house. So while working on it they get to know each other. And thats all I am spoiling on this book.

The story really answered the question of how and why Jack did what he did. Which I really liked. But it does not answer one glaring question and that is what happens with the ex fiancee's child. Its Jack's child and it is a year later so the child must have been born but its not even mentioned if it was a girl or boy or anything about the child. Which would have made more sense if jack did not spend so much time time with Lola's kids and specifically Silas.

Aside from that I really enjoyed this story about Jack and Lola falling in love. Lola has ALOT of baggage but so does Jack. They were a very fun couple to watch fall in love and I especially loved seeing Nate, Dorie and Lolas kids were a lot of fun.

About the Author

A big believer in happily ever afters, Jen Doyle decided it was high time she started creating some. She has an M.S. in Library and Information Science and, in addition to her work as a librarian, has worked as a conference and events planner as well as a Communications and Enrollment administrator in both preschool and higher education environments (although some might say that there is very little difference between the two; Jen has no comment regarding whether she is one of the “some”).


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Goaltending by Jami Davenport


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About the Book

WANTED: Single dad needs nanny--In more ways than one.

Martin "Brick" Bricker is living the good life. He's playing the sport he loves, has all the women he can handle, and parties like a rock star. At twenty-six, he has no interest in slowing down or taking anything seriously--except hockey, of course.

Then a knock at his door changes everything.Suddenly he's the single father to a five-year-old daughter he didn't know he had, and he's trading his playboy ways for Barbies.

Amelia Stacey struggles to make ends meet and juggles her day-care job with a full load of college classes. When she's offered a temporary, two-week nanny position making more money than she imagines, she jumps at the chance. Before she knows it, she's in over her head, not just with her five-year-old charge but with the girl's hot single father.

Brick always goes after what he wants, and he wants Amelia. Only responsible Amelia doesn't want anything to do with the party boy. Struggling with fatherhood and his unexplainable attraction to his nanny, Brick has to figure out where his daughter and Amelia fit into his life.If they fit at all.

But one thing's for sure: Brick can't block this shot straight to his heart.

Addicted 2 Romance Review:

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

This story was really wonderful. It took a self admitted and proud of it manwhore and matured him into a father. It was not a smooth or easy ride and that really made it more realistic. The Brick does not go easily into fatherhood when he inherits a 5 year old daughter but he has many tantrums about it. This really was a wonderful story about a partyboy finally growing up and learning to love and give of himself.

One day Marty wakes up and the doobell rings, he opens the door to a 5 year old girl Macy who rushes at him and call him Daddy and that is how our story starts. Martin Brick is self centered and a hedonist and a manwhore and he loves that about himself. He has worked hard to be that guy and he revels in it, but when he meets Macy his first thought is where can he dump her. Fortunately for him no one comes to his rescue and he finds a daycare where he hires Amelia to be his daughters nanny and thats how this story starts.

Amelia is described as a Megan Fox lookalike and the Brick wants her badlt. But Amelia has been hurt before by a jerk and so she does not fall for the Brick easily, who she does fall for is Macy and well I loved how protective she is of Macy. Eventually the Brick gets a clue and thats when I started to like him as he reall started to grow and change.

This was a really well written story about Brick's journey to parenthood. I loved all the side characters and cannot wait to read more about them

About the Author:

USA Today Bestselling Author Jami Davenport writes sexy contemporary and sports romances, including her two new indie endeavors: the Game On in Seattle Series and the Madrona Island Series. Jami’s new releases consistently rank in the top fifty on the sports romance and sports genre lists on Amazon, and she has hit the Amazon top hundred authors list in both contemporary romance and genre fiction multiple times. Jami ranked Number Seven on Kobo’s Top Ten Most Completed Authors, an honor bestowed on the year’s “most engaging” authors based on an average page completion rate by their readers.

Jami lives on a small farm near Puget Sound with her Green Beret-turned-plumber husband, a Newfoundland cross with a tennis ball fetish, a prince disguised as an orange tabby cat, and an opinionated Hanoverian mare.

Jami works in IT for her day job and is a former high school business teacher. She’s a lifetime Seahawks and Mariners fan and is waiting for the day professional hockey comes to Seattle. An avid boater, Jami has spent countless hours in the San Juan Islands, a common setting in her books. In her opinion, it’s the most beautiful place on earth.

Connect with Jami!

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

From the Start - American Valor #3 - By: Cheryl Etchison


About the Book

For many women, Ranger Battalion Surgeon Michael MacGregor is the ideal man. He’s far better than average looking, a generous tipper, not to mention an officer and a doctor. So when he encounters a woman resistant to his charms, he finds himself… intrigued.

Kacie Morgan has had her fill of arrogant military men since the last one left her with a shattered heart and one heck of a career rut. Now, with her prestigious fellowship starting in the fall, all she has to do is survive the summer—and her little sister’s wedding.

When an ill-fitting bridesmaid dress has Kacie wanting to temporarily shake things up in her carefully planned life, she knows just the man to call. They agree to a no-strings, summer fling, although it isn’t long before Michael wants Kacie for forever.

But to win her heart, he’ll have to confront the nightmares from his past if they’re to have any chance at a future.

Enter to WIN Two (2) sets of ONCE AND FOR ALL & 

HERE AND NOW in eBook format

May 2013
Kacie Morgan raised the cloudy glass tumbler to her lips and licked the course salt from its rim, all the while surveying the bar, knowing she was officially in hell. Despite it being a fairly new establishment—and a nice place as far as bars went—it just wasn’t her scene. The cowboy hats and cowboy boots. The painted-on jeans that both the men and women wore. The line dancing and mechanical bull.

Then there was the fact she couldn’t stand country music. She might have been born and raised in the South, but the appreciation for songs about racing pickups down red dirt roads, getting drunk on Jack, and skinny-dipping in farm ponds must have skipped a generation.

She sighed and turned back around, catching a glimpse of herself in the mirror behind the bar.

Dear God in the heavens. She shouldn’t have looked.

She squeezed her eyes shut and tossed back the remnants of her margarita on the rocks. A tang and tart shiver raced the length of her spine, her body squirming involuntarily to shake it off.

Her empty glass met the cow-print bar top a little heavier than intended, the upside being it garnered the bartender’s attention. “Another?” He shouted to be heard over the music.

“Sure,” she said. “Why the hell not?”

He came over to clear away the empty glass and his eyes roamed her chest as he took his damn sweet time to read the front of her shirt. She didn’t have to glance at the mirror again to know the club lights ignited the rhinestones across her shirt, the word bridesmaid glimmering in the relative dark like a ’70s disco ball.

“Eight weeks,” she chanted to herself. “Eight. More. Weeks.”

Just eight weeks until the bachelorette weekend, the holiday weekend, the rehearsal dinner, the wedding, all of it would be over. Her baby sister would be happily married and, more importantly, her maid of honor duties would be complete. No longer would she have to be overly friendly to women who were not her friends. No longer would she be guilted into wearing questionable attire or spending money she didn’t have on all of the cutesy little things they wanted her to “chip in” on.

Kacie handed the bartender a few bills as he returned with her drink, then resumed leaning against the bar, watching as the country music gave way to hip-hop and the puritans bolted for the bars and seated areas. In the span of a few minutes, the dance floor became an instant bump and grind session for anyone under the age of twenty-five or with more than a few drinks in them.

In a sea of cowboy hats and baseball caps, her baby sister was easy to spot. The rhinestone tiara with attached veil on her head glittered in the pulsing lights as she bopped around the dance floor. And all the other bridesmaids were right there with her.

If she were a better maid of honor, a better big sister, she’d suck it up and join them. But she just couldn’t find it in herself to move. Ever since her well-planned future with a man she loved—or at the very least thought she loved—had taken a deep dive into the toilet nine months earlier, she found having fun an almost impossible feat. How sad. How pathetic.

With a pang, Kacie realized at the age of thirty-one she’d become what she always feared most—a total buzzkill.

Addicted 2 Romance Review:

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

This is book #3 in a series about a battalion. I have never read this a author before and I did not read any of the other books. I believe this book mostly stands alone. It is about army surgeon Mike/Michael McGregor and the woman he meets one night at her sisters bachelorette party, Kacie.

This book is very heavy on the military and the army. So if you are looking for a military romance then this is a really good one and I felt it dealt with both sides, the good and bad. So many military romances deal with the whole good, the serving our country, the heroness but none really discuss  how hard a life it really is for those who love a military man. I liked the honesty in this story.

Something else that you should know before reading is this book starts in 2013. It starts then and the entire book is in 2013. I am not really sure why, at first reading it I thought it was a prologue and then it would jump to 2017 but it never did and so you should know its all in 2013.

Kacie has a list of guys she won't date and she meets this hot guy at a honky tonk type of bar on the night he ticks the top 3 on her list of who to never date:
1. His name is Mike
2. He is Military
3. Works at the Battalion

Why? well because her ex was name Mike, was military and works at the battalion. So after waking up with Mike after the bachelorette party she refuses to date him. But Kaycie is very lonely and with her sister so happy and getting married she agrees to a benefits/summer fling because after the summer she is moving away.

And thats how Mike and Kaycie get to know each other. It was fun watching them fall for the other. They have some big issues to deal with and at times I found Mike annoying. I wanted him to just live his life and not have to save the world. But I loved Kaycie. She was a strong, kick ass woman who was not ashamed to feel jealous of her sister and be sad and lonely with her life and then make the changes to find her happiness.

This story was extremely well written and I loved the entire story.

Q&A with Cheryl

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I really enjoyed the early interactions between Michael and Kacie for this book but especially the scene where they have sex the first time. The conversation is so shallow and matter-of-fact since they’ve agreed to just use each other for sex.
I also loved the argument between Michael and his sister-in-law. Bree has been more like a sibling to him for so many years that it’s only fair they’d argue in the same way he and his brother argue. Politeness be damned!

What gave you the most trouble with this story?
When I started this book, I hadn’t planned on Michael suffering from PTSD. But when I began the editing process and reading it from the beginning, I realized all the clues were there. He doesn’t really talk about his issues although it’s clear those who know him best realize something is a bit off. And whenever the suggestion is made that he speak to a therapist, he blows it off because he doesn’t believe his problems are bad enough to warrant treatment. Which I think, sadly, is an accurate representation for so many of those who serve in special operations units.

Name three things on your desk right now.
A small crystal pig with pink wings named Penelope. I have always loved the expression “When pigs fly!” and have always taken great pleasure in proving people wrong.
A two-year-old fortune that says “You’ll never know what you can do until you try.” I found it in my fortune cookie at a time when I was debating whether or not I was read to query literary agents.

A small Galah figurine given to me by the Australian family I lived with while on foreign exchange in high school. They had rescued an injured Galah, which is a type of cockatoo, and taught this bird to say my name. That damn bird made me crazy because he would sometimes escape when I came home from school and then proceed to hide high up in a tree while calling my name over and over, taunting me.

If you could have dinner with any three authors (alive or dead), who would you choose and why?
My first instinct was to say Jane Austen, but I fear she’d end up being a disappointment and ruining my perception of her. Ernest Hemingway would have to be my number one since his personal life was as exciting as his stories. Second would be Dorothy Parker since she had zero problem saying exactly what she thought. Throw in the fact she was blacklisted in Hollywood, I can only imagine the dirt she knew. Number three would have to be Stephen King. I’d love to know what his childhood was like and whether or not his own writing gives him nightmares.  

What are you favorite types of stories to read?
I absolutely adore historical romances. They are always my go-to read when I’m in a bad mood or a writing rut. I love all that despite a ton of societal rules, there were women who willingly ignored them and threw caution to the wind. Personally, I like to think had I lived during the Regency era that I’d have been one of those women who wore pants and rode astride and basically thumbed her nose to everyone who dared say “You shouldn’t do that!”

How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?
There was a built in desk in my bedroom growing up and it being the only desk in the house, that’s where the Selectric typewriter lived. When I was in elementary school, my mother would write youth soccer recaps for the local paper and when she was done I would sit down and mimic her. I don’t recall ever writing fiction. Instead, I wrote recaps of the Olympics and Super Bowls. In school I always excelled at creative writing but it wasn’t until I was in college, at the encouragement of a professor, I switched from Accounting to Journalism. After graduating, I always wrote for work, but never for myself. Then when my oldest was born, I quit writing altogether for about six years until I found an online community and began writing fanfiction. Through that I made a friend who was a member of RWA and encouraged me to attend the national conference with her in 2011. The rest is history.

When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
When I began working on this story five years ago, it was the story of a doctor who’d just left the army and was trying to find his way in the civilian world. Sadly, my hero was, in a word, boring. He was too nice. Too polite. He was just… ugh. But I kept at him and gave him a brother and father and he began taking shape. By the time I actually started to like Michael MacGregor, I realized his story would be better if his younger brother’s story came first. So I went back to square one and began working on ONCE AND FOR ALL. When I returned to Michael’s original story last year, I had to scrap most of it because some scenes were more like Danny and other scenes were more like Lucky (the hero in HERE AND NOW). So I had to practically start completely over, but this time I knew exactly who Michael MacGregor was and what he’d been through.

What do you do when you are not writing?
As a mom of three, I’m usually pretty busy when I’m not writing. There’s always a kitchen to be cleaned or laundry to be folded or a kid to be driven somewhere. And now my oldest has her learner’s permit and I’m the one she drives with the most. So that’s always fun. Not really.

Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
I love that I was given the opportunity to bring Michael and Danny’s mother to life in this book thanks to my editor suggesting I include a flashback. If there is one couple I would love to write, it would be their parents. I would love to see Mac MacGregor fall head over heels in love with Lily.

About the Author

Cheryl Etchison graduated from the University of Oklahoma’s School of Journalism and began her career as an oil and gas reporter. Bored to tears and broke as hell, it wasn’t long before she headed for the promise land of public relations. But that was nearly a lifetime ago and she’s since traded in reporting the facts for making it all up. Currently, she lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and three daughters.